Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Brunswick Room - Guildhall, Bath. View directions
Contact: Michaela Gay 01225 394411
Note: Call in of Decision E2861 East Bath Park and Ride
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the purpose of this meeting is for this panel to decide whether Cabinet should be requested to reconsider its decision of 25 January 2017 to allocate a site for an East of Bath Park and Ride. He further explained that today’s meeting will be limited to considering the Cabinet decision and the reasons for it; plus the issues set out in the Call in request (contained in appendices to the report). The Chairman asked that speakers and participants confine their remarks to those issues and that he would not allow the introduction of new issues.
The Chairman advised that the panel had three options available to it:
· The first option was that the Panel could dismiss the Call in. This would mean that Cabinet’s decision would take effect immediately.
· The second option was that the Panel could uphold all or part of the Call in. This would mean that Cabinet would have to re-consider its decision in light of the Panel’s comments.
· The third option was that the Panel could decide that the Call in request should be considered by the full Council instead of by the panel, who would be fulfilling the role of the Scrutiny Panel in upholding or dismissing the Call in. If Council upheld all or part of the Call in, this would also mean that Cabinet would have to reconsider its decision in the light of this.
The Chairman stated that whatever the outcome of the meeting, it was important to remember that the final decision on the allocation of a site for an East of Bath Park and Ride will rest with the Council’s Cabinet.
The Chairman then read the following statement; -
“The East of Bath Park and Ride is a high profile issue upon which many members of the Council have expressed opinions, including myself; and I have also put my name to the Call in notice.
However, we are not here to decide upon the merits of the Park and Ride proposal. Our job is to decide if Cabinet should re-consider its decision. Therefore, I wish to make it clear that I am entirely open minded about the outcome of this Call in application and I will be basing my decision upon the evidence and representations before me.
If any member of the panel feels that they are unable to make a decision on the Call in with an open mind, please would they say so now”.
The Chairman then went on the state that:
“Members of the panel should also be aware that, under the Council’s constitution, members have a duty to declare that they are subject to a party whip and the nature of it. I can confirm that I am not subject to a party whip in this meeting. If any members of the panel are subject to a party whip, please would they declare it now”.
(None of the Panel members declared on either of ... view the full minutes text for item 129.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Chairman will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.
The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Councillor Alan Hale gave his apologies and was substituted by Councillor Lisa O’ Brien.
Councillor Bob Goodman gave his apologies and was substituted by Councillor Mark Shelford.
Councillor Peter Turner gave his apologies and was substituted by Councillor Colin Barrett.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:
(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.
(b) The nature of their interest.
(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest, (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)
Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.
As noted above, the Chairman asked members to declare if they did not have an open mind, no Panel members declared.
The Chairman also asked members to declare if they were subject to a party whip, no Panel members declared.
The following Councillors declared that they had signed the Call in notice and/or made comments at the Cabinet meeting on 25 January 2017:
Councillor John Bull
Councillor Neil Butters
Councillor Ian Gilchrist
Councillor Lin Patterson
Councillor Lisa O’Brien
TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN
There was none.
ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC OR COUNCILLORS - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS MEETING
The Democratic Services Officer will announce any submissions received.
All statements on the issue are made under item 7 on the agenda.
The Chair explained that a request had been received from Christine Boyd to make a statement which would require rule 27 to be used, to suspend rule 32.
Panel members voted unanimously to agree to use rule 27 to suspend rule 32.
This report sets out the call-in by 13 Councillors of the decision relating to the preferred site for a Park & Ride to the East of Bath. The role of the Panel is to consider the issues raised by the call-in and to determine its response.
As noted above, the Chair explained that a request had been received from Christine Boyd to make a statement which would require rule 27 to be used, to suspend rule 32. Panel members voted unanimously to agree to use rule 27 to suspend rule 32.
The Chair asked if any Panel members were minded to refer the Call-in to full Council at this point. No members indicated that they were.
Statements from Councillor Millar (Call-in Lead Member) and Councillor Clarke (Cabinet Member for Transport) and Panel questions:
Councillor Bull invited the Lead Councillor for the call-in, Councillor Alison Millar, to make her statement (a copy of this statement is attached to the minutes for this meeting). Councillor Millar spoke to the points in the Call-in notice with particular reference to: loss making options being chosen; the cost of an RUH service not being factored in; the need for a Park and Ride to the East not established; flawed consultation; the final decision being delegated to an officer and therefore not transparent; no business case; lack of Heritage study and flood risk analysis. She stated that the decision had not been sound or robust.
Questions from the Panel to the Lead Call-in Councillor
Councillor Bull asked Councillor Millar to explain how the consultation had not been clear. Councillor Millar explained that the way the questions were set out were not clear and that the consultation was now 15 months old and irrelevant.
Councillor Patterson asked if we should not be pleased that two thousand cars will use Park and Ride services. Councillor Millar stated that she does not think that this would be the result of the project (she explained that a public statement later in the meeting would cover this point in more detail).
Councillor Patterson asked if there were any other areas that should have been covered by the business case. Councillor Millar replied that there was no business case yet.
Following a request from the panel, the Principal Solicitor explained the effect of section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972.
Councillor Bull invited the Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Anthony Clarke to make his statement. Councillor Clarke explained that a clear decision had been made on 25th January 2017 at the Cabinet meeting. He explained that the Cabinet were not asked to make a planning decision and were not asked to give approval for a full business case; Cabinet was asked to decide on a preferred location which they did. He explained that the decision was well informed with ample evidence. Councillor Clarke addressed the 9 points of the Call-in notice referring to the Response table circulated at the meeting (a copy of this document is kept on the Council’s minute book). Councillor Clarke made reference to the following points in the Response table: sites F and B were consulted on; all but one of the recommendations from the Scrutiny Inquiry Day were accepted; the LDF group included ward members and no objections were raised ... view the full minutes text for item 135.